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In which Az is unexpectedly helpful

I almost can't believe what Az just did. Tara Banana was puffing and blowing a bit, and I was just making coffee and not really paying attention to her.

So, Az gave me his most withering expression, stood up, turned the handle, and opened the patio door so that Tara could go out for a wee. He didn't go through the door himself, he just opened it, pushed it open and stood there waiting for her to go out.

Honestly the longer I know that lurcher the more impressed I am. He is soooooo clever!

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(Deleted comment)
bunn
11th Dec, 2009 15:13 (UTC)
LOL. The reasoning and action didn't surprise me so much as the motivation.
(Deleted comment)
philmophlegm
11th Dec, 2009 17:52 (UTC)
I think you might have something there...
bunn
11th Dec, 2009 20:02 (UTC)
Even so, that's quite an impressive piece of thinking (for a dog):

"I don't like it when Tara pees inside
(recognising that something might happen in the future, and also that there is a difference between indoors and outdoors)

because IF that happens the carpet cleaner comes out/it will smell bad
(a conditional thought)

so therefore I shall open the door
(forethought)

so she can go out instead.
(understanding how another animal will behave in response to an action)

To open the door, I shall stand on my hind legs and push the lever with my front paw.

(OK, we knew he could do this bit, but it's still quite impressive because it's not something he has ever seen another dog do, he worked it out by watching another species that is a very different shape).

Dogs are supposed to be able to reason up to about a 4 year old child level, but I am not sure all human 4 year olds would manage that reasoning.
the_marquis
11th Dec, 2009 21:35 (UTC)
Oooh I don't know about that, some 4 year olds are remarkably perceptive, thoughtful and empathic.

Overall though it does start to sound like Az has been reading 101 Dalmatians
bunn
11th Dec, 2009 22:26 (UTC)
Goodness, I didn't mean to imply that there aren't plenty of 4 year olds that could handle that sort of reasoning, I'm pretty sure there are many younger children that would have no problem with it, particularly those well used to the company of animals.

I homechecked a home with a 2 year old girl a month or so ago, and I'm pretty sure she will be very alert and observing of her beloved new doggy at least some of the time - even if she isn't out of nappies herself yet. (Whereas I didn't even notice the problem, and there's nothing wrong with my intelligence, well at least compared to a dog there isn't!)

I do think it's pretty impressive that Az worked this out himself without my giving him any cues or encouragement tho.

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